Introduction to Donate Life UK

Organ and Tissue Donation

Donation is giving an organ or tissue to help some one who needs a transplant. Transplants can save or greatly enhance the lives of other people. But this relies on donors and their families agreeing to donate their organ or tissue.

Donation can only occur from a donor with their consent or with their families consent after they die. You can give consent by joining the NHS Organ donor register or by telling a relative a close friend about your decision to donate.

NHS Organ Donor Register

This is a confidential and secure database which records the wishes of everyone who has decided to donate organs after they die. It´s also the database which medical staff will consult to see if a person has decided to be a donor if they die in circumstances where they are able to donate.

If you want to be a donor after your death, please join the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss your decision with your close family.

Organ Donation from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Communities

Organ donation may affect any one of us, our friends, families and community at any time, so it is important to think and talk about it. On average 3 people a day die in need of a transplant because there are not enough organs available.

The situation is more pressing for people in our community because of illness such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease, all of which may result in organ failure, occur more often. A transplant is more successful if the donor and recipient share the same ethnicity.

Two thirds of families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities refuse to donate their loved one's organs. Last year there were 1,212 people who donated their organs after their death, but of those just 56 were from BAME communities. People from BAME communities only constitute 5% of organ donors despite representing 27% of those on the transplant waiting list.

Have you thought about helping someone after your death?

An organ transplant can dramatically improve or save someone’s life, but they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families.

More than 10,000 people in the UK need an organ transplant that could save or dramatically improve their lives. Most are waiting for a kidney, heart, lung or liver transplant. However, less than 4,000 organ transplants are carried out each year in the UK. One donor can save and improve the lives of up to nine people.

As a voluntary organisation, we hope to encourage people from BAME communities to register as organ donors with NHS Organ Donor Register through awareness campaigns, events and community activities.

By encouraging people to talk about organ donation and exchange views on the subject, whether or not they have been directly affected, the whole concept has become less taboo and more a celebration of what could be – and how uplifting it could feel to know that, as a donor, you might possibly save a number of other lives. Similarly, we hope that relatives of those who have donated their organs will draw comfort from the wider knowledge that their loved ones live on by way of helping others to achieve their dreams.

We also fund initiatives to improve the welfare of (and outcome for) patients in need or receipt of organ tissue transplants, in addition to supporting the public recognition of donors and their families. We also believe that united we are stronger, which is why we are proud to work closely with other transplant organisations and charities, including NHS Blood and Transplants and various community organisations.

What do we need to do?

There is a vital need to encourage more people from BAME backgrounds to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and share their donation decision with their loved ones.

The acute shortage of organs means South Asian people will wait on an average one year longer for a kidney transplant than a white patient. Currently there are over 650 Black and 1150 South Asian patients are waiting for a transplant.

The chances of a successful transplant are high when the ethnicity of the donor and the recipient are the same, it is critical that as many people from these communities donate if and when they can.

We need to act to raise awareness and support Organ Donation among BAME Communities in UK.

Support the activities of Donate Life UK and come forward to work with us.

By raising awareness, we can ultimately help to save many lives.